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The Speckled Palate
June 20, 2019

How to Make an Outdoor Drink Station

This post has been sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Win the summertime entertaining game by making an outdoor drink station for your house! Stocked with Coca-Cola® products purchased at Sam’s Club, this outdoor bar cart is an easy thing to put together before any warm-weather gathering.

Iced Coca Cola products are shown on an Outdoor Drink Station

If you’re anything like me, you worry about your kids staying cool in the great outdoors during the summer months.

Since we live in Texas, this is especially important because, while we love to play outside, it gets really hot really fast here.

And when we have friends over and spend some time on our new patio? We have to have something to keep our people refreshed… and that includes our kids, too.

I’m thrilled to be partnering with The Coca-Cola Company and Sam’s Club to show y’all how easy it is to set up an outdoor serving cart!

This serving cart is perfect for any kind of summer gathering you can imagine. 

Looking for more summer entertaining recipes? Check out my Patriotic Recipes landing page!

A man lifts a girl behind an outdoor bar cart

What do I need to purchase to make this outdoor bar cart a reality?

You just need a few drinks to get this bar ready for guests. They are…

I was able to easily find these drinks at my local Sam’s Club. Check out more details at the Sam’s Club website for summertime deals!

As far as the bar itself? You can use any kind of weatherproof table/cart in your house. I’ll go into details about how to choose this, as well as the containers to hold your drinks below.

Honest Juice, Gold Peak Tea and Sprite packages are stacked on top of one another

Why did I go to Sam’s Club to get these Coca-Cola products?

Whenever I’m entertaining, I love to purchase items in bulk.

Not only is it more cost effective, but it makes things easier for me because I don’t have to lug several packages of drinks to my car once my shopping trip is over with my girls in tow. #momproblems

While I was shopping at Sam’s Club recently, I marveled at all the summertime products they had.

In fact, I’d go as far as saying that they have all the summer entertaining essentials you might find on your shopping list covered.

If you don’t have a bar cart or a table to use to set up your station, I spotted one there. They have containers that are perfect for keeping drinks cool in, too.

Need a wide brimmed sun hat to protect your skin while your guests are gallivanting? They’ve got those, too.

Need some easy snacks for the kids to munch on as everyone plays? Y’all better believe I came home with lots of those, too.

Close up of Gold Pea Teas and Sprites on an outdoor bar cart

How to put together an outdoor bar cart

Choose a weatherproof cart and/or table to serve as your drink station.

Real talk: If you’re putting together an outdoor bar cart, it’s gonna be in the elements sometimes.

While you can wheel it inside when everyone is done for the day, it might still get caught in an afternoon thunderstorm.

And because of this, you want it to be a little more weatherproof.

I’d also advise that you want it to be relatively sturdy and not made of glass, especially if you’re planning to use it to serve kids.

Honest Kids juice boxes are shown in a metal container on an outdoor bar cart

Select your drinks.

Personally, I love a good smattering of different drinks when it comes to a bar cart.

I chose Sprite®, Honest Kids® and Gold Peak® Unsweetened Black Tea because they’re all different enough to satisfy different tastes of our summertime guests. Also, I find them delicious and equally refreshing in different ways.

Y’all know I’m always harping on how we should think about the people we’re hosting? Your drink purchase should reflect this.

Get drinks that your guests will enjoy, not just ones you’re into.

Close up of Gold Peak Unsweetened Teas and Sprite on a bar cart

Choose what you want to place your drinks in.

I opted for containers with ice, one of which is actually a serving tray. The other is a metal bowl.

You could very easily use a cooler or multiple little coolers to serve your drink options, too, if you have those on hand.

Consider how long you’ll be outside, as this will affect the ice situation.

If you’re planning to be outdoors all day, go with the cooler(s) so your drinks stay ice cold the whole time.

If you’ll just be out for a few hours, do something similar to what I’ve done here!

A woman pours lemonade on top of tea in a glass while entertaining outdoors

Choose your mixers, if any.

For my drink cart, I served Simply Lemonade alongside the Sprite®, Gold Peak® Unsweetened Black Tea and the Honest Kids®.

Why? Lemonade mixes beautifully with tea to make an Arnold Palmer.

You can also put a splash of Simply Lemonade into your Sprite® to make it extra citrus-y!

You can also add alcohol to your outdoor bar cart, though I caution you to keep this separate from anything you’ll be serving to children.

A woman puts together a bar cart in a collage, part 1 of 2

Set up your outdoor bar.

Think about what the bar needs and piece it together with things you already have in your home.

It doesn’t have to be matchy-matchy or perfect. In fact, it’s even better if it’s not because—ahem—we’re all human and should embrace that.

Head to Sam’s Club to grab the drinks and any other summer entertaining necessities, then put your drink cart together.

Easy peasy, y’all.

A woman puts together a bar cart in a collage, part 2 of 2

What kinds of foods can I serve with this outdoor drink station?

Looking for some easy dishes to serve on or beside your bar cart?

Try serving the following as finger foods for guests to snack on as they enjoy the great outdoors with you…

A girl drinks an Honest Kids juice box while a man sits behind her with a Sprite and a Gold Peak tea

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did you choose these particular drinks? Can I put something different in my bar cart?

Honestly, these three drinks are some of my favorite Coca-Cola products for various reasons—especially when served ice cold.

I love how refreshing and crisp Sprite® is, especially when ice cold.

Gold Peak® Unsweetened Black Tea is a family favorite because it’s great on its own… but it’s also a fabulous base for a summertime favorite drink. (Hello, Arnold Palmers!)

Honest Kids® is our older daughter’s favorite, and she’s into every flavor of ‘em. So are her friends. They’re easy to chill and easy to serve to the kids as they play outside this summer.

If you’re into other Coca-Cola products, add those to your bar cart, too!

A man grabs an Arnold Palmer off an Outdoor Drink Station

Easy entertaining tips for hosting success

Set up your bar cart in advance without the ice or the drinks. I actually put together the bar indoors and then wheeled it outside when it was time to party before loading the drinks and ice.

Mix and match drinks for a crowd. Consider who’s going to be at your house and have something for them to drink! For example, if you’re having lots of parents with kids, you probably are going to want more kid-friendly drinks.

Serving kids? Keep the alcohol separate. I chose to opt out of alcohol for my bar cart but if you want to serve it with yours, feel free! That said, I suggest keeping anything with alcohol in a separate place. So that boozy lemonade you want to serve? Keep it in the fridge so no unsuspecting kid sips it.

A man places drinks in a cooler to chill before an outdoor entertaining event

Keep ‘em cool in the cooler. Instead of chilling all of your drinks in your fridge, put them in a cooler or two the night before with a lot of ice. Since we never have a ton of space in our fridge, this has been a handy thing to remember as we prepare to entertain. 

Freezer can’t produce enough ice? Pick some up at Sam’s Club and store it in your freezer until it’s party time!

A woman and a child enjoy drinks at an homemade outdoor drink station

Do you have an outdoor drink station at your house?

Will you be making one for your people and you this summer?

Two people clink drinks in front of an outdoor bar cart

How to Make an Outdoor Drink Station
Yield: 1 outdoor drink cart

How to Make an Outdoor Drink Station

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Chilling Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Win the summertime entertaining game by making an outdoor drink station for your house! Stocked with Coca-Cola products purchased at Sam’s Club, this outdoor bar cart is an easy thing to put together before any warm weather gathering.

Materials

  • Bar cart/weatherproof table
  • 3 containers or coolers that can hold ice and drinks
  • Cups
  • Ice
  • Drink pitcher (for lemonade or another mixer)
  • Napkins
  • Paper straws
  • Bucket of ice (optional)

Drinks

  • Sprite®
  • Honest Kids® 

  • Gold Peak® Unsweetened Black Tea

Instructions

In the days leading up to your get together, you should...

  1. Set up your bar cart in advance without the ice or the drinks. I put together mine and then wheeled it outside when it was time to party before loading the drinks and ice.
  2. Consider who’s coming and have something for them to drink! For example, if you’re hosting lots of parents with kids, you probably are going to want more kid-friendly drinks.
  3. Serving kids? Keep any alcohol separate. I didn't add alcohol to my bar cart, but if you want to serve it, you certainly can! Just keep it in a different place so that kids don't confuse it for something they are drinking.
  4. Chill the drinks in a cooler the night before with a lot of ice. Since we never have a ton of space in our fridge, this has been a handy thing to remember as we prepare to entertain.
  5. Purchase extra ice at Sam’s Club and store it in your freezer to keep your bar cart ice cold!

The day before your get together, you should...

  1. Roll the bar or carry the table outdoors, and place it in the spot where you want it to be for your gathering. If your bar cart has wheels, secure those in plate so the cart doesn't roll off. (Mine has locks on the wheels and it is a brilliant feature, especially since kids love to push things like this.)
  2. Once the bar cart is in place, set out the containers that will hold the drinks on top of the bar.
  3. On the top of the bar, add your cups, napkins, straws, etc. Add any drink mixers that aren't cold, too.
  4. Just before guests arrive, fill the containers with the ice cold drinks and add ice to keep them cool. Place any cold mixers on top of the bar, too.
  5. If you'll be outdoors for a long time, add a bucket of ice to the bar, too!
  6. Encourage your guests to enjoy the variety of drinks you have on hand, and enjoy your time together!

Notes

Easy Entertaining Tips

  • Set up your bar cart in advance without the ice or the drinks. I put together mine and then wheeled it outside when it was time to party before loading the drinks and ice.
  • Consider who’s coming and have something for them to drink! For example, if you’re hosting lots of parents with kids—you probably are going to want more kid-friendly drinks.
  • Serving kids? Keep any alcohol separate. I didn't add alcohol to my bar cart but if you want to serve it, you certainly can! Just keep it in a different place so that kids don't confuse it for something they are drinking.
  • Chill the drinks in a cooler the night before with a lot of ice. Since we never have a ton of space in our fridge, this has been a handy thing to remember as we prepare to entertain.
  • Purchase extra ice at Sam’s Club and store it in your freezer to keep your bar cart ice cold!

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